Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The Outlook for Electric Vehicles - How Do Consumers Feel?

Western governments are doing their very best to force feed voters into a carbon-free (according to them), electric vehicle future.  Sometimes, getting the masses that sweat while they work to obey government edicts is like herding cats; it looks good on paper but it doesn't always work.


The 2024 edition of the Mobility Consumer Pulse study by McKinsey & Co found that consumers are not as enamoured with electric vehicles as the ruling class would have us believe.  Let's look at some key points from the study which looks at consumer preferences from the world's 15 largest automobile markets including Japan, China, the United States, Norway, South Africa, Australia and Brazil among others:


1.) Likelihood that current EV owners would switch back to Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles:


Australia - 49.21 percent


United States - 46.47 percent


Brazil - 38.4 percent


China - 27.64 percent


Germany - 24.41 percent


Norway - 17.78 percent


France - 17.68 percent


Italy - 14.8 percent


Japan - 12.86 percent


The reasons for switching back to ICE vehicles were because the total cost of ownership is too high (34.5 percent), inability to charge at home (33.8 percent) and the stress associated with needing to charge (i.e. range anxiety) (31.9 percent).  The inability to charge at home is a key issue for consumers living in densely populated urban areas where the only parking available is on-street which means that EV owners have to use inadequate and unreliable public charging infrastructure. 


2.) High cost of purchasing: 45 percent of respondents were unwilling to switch to EVs because they are too expensive even with taxpayer-funded government subsidies, 33 percent had charging concerns and 39 percent had range anxiety that would prevent them from switching to an EV.


3.) Range expectations are not being met: range expectations have increased by about 30 percent over the past five years and since 2022, consumers are demanding range increases of 5 percent but actual range has increased only 2 percent.  Consumers expect range of at least 291 miles (466 kilometres) on average before they would purchase an EV which puts many of the lower priced models out of contention, leaving consumers with premium-priced options like Tesla and a few others.  More specifically, in the United States, consumers expect an EV battery to have a range of 302 miles (486 kilometres) when the average advertised range is around 220 miles (354 kilometres) and the average actual experienced range is 190 miles (306 kilometres).  Consumers also must keep in mind that range decreases with high and low temperatures and battery aging so the vehicle with a 291 mile range today will not have that range in the future.  


Not everyone is going to agree with the findings of this study but it is interesting to see that there is some significant resistance to the government-mandated switch to battery electric vehicles.  Certainly, a BEV is of benefit to certain groups of consumers but it is also clear that consumers in some geographic locales will find that full EVs are less than a desirable option and that a one size solution does not fit all.


Sources - 

1.) Autopian


2.) Wards 100 


3.) Repairer Driven News 

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